Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselbor has given a stern interview to Der Spiegel, comparing controversial Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s reforms to dictatorship in Belarus and arguing that the country should have its EU voting rights withdrawn.Key passage:
Orbán has clearly breached Article 2 of the EU treaties that enshrine the democratic values of the constitutional state such as freedom and pluralism. The media have been under the control of the government for a year. Freedom of opinion has been abolished, the separation of powers is being ignored. Independent judges are being replaced by those loyal to the regime. In these points Hungary is no longer different from a dictatorship like that in Belarus.
Strong words considering Orbán appears to be backing down from his hardline positions. We wonder what this negative attention is doing for Orbán’s domestic popularity — this weekend saw an estimated 100,000 people take to the streets in support of him, a fair amount larger than a recent anti-Orbán protest.